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Information for Employers

Internship NZ has worked with the New Zealand Immigration Service to develop a work experience/internship programme that will enable skilled students from overseas to work in NZ for six months or longer.


Internships are compulsory in many overseas study programmes at universities, technology institutes and polytechnics. To stand out from the mass, a rising number of students take on internship placements abroad. International experience is extremely valuable when applying for a position after graduating.

As an employer you may be offered interns who can intern unpaid (rarely) or who may require payment (wages). A number of students are financially supported by their institutes to accomplish an internship overseas.

The students have been pre-screened by Internship NZ for this programme, so that you can be assured that  programme requirements are met. They are highly motivated, well qualified and will be eager, in the years to come, to continue professional and commercial contacts as they take on positions of prominence in their fields.

Demand for internships in New Zealand are in the following areas:
  • Agriculture (dairy; forestry; horticulture)

  • Business (administration, finance, marketing, IT)

  • Ecology (conservation; farming effects on the environment and on people)

  • Tourism Management

  • Hotel/Hospitality Management

  • Engineering

Benefits to employers

Companies who hire foreign interns on this programme find that this broadens their own staffs’ understanding of a foreign culture and stimulates new business ideas. As well:

  • Interns will typically be bi-lingual or multi-lingual – a major asset to NZ companies seeking to enter/grow their business in offshore markets where language is an issue;

  • Interns bring fresh ideas and an international perspective to the company;

  • Interns will work in a similar employment field in their home country, providing valuable links between their NZ employer and their employer overseas;

  • Organisations are not making long-term staffing commitments by participating in this programme;

  • Interns will have completed or be completing a relevant course of study in their home country that is matched to your business needs eg marketing, business administration, engineering, IT etc;

  • Often interns have completed or are completing courses of study that are more specialised or different from those available in NZ

Dry Cleaning Manager

Further Benefits to Employers

New Zealand companies overall benefit widely from the interns’ academic and cultural diverse backgrounds. Interns are usually very well trained academically in their specific field of study. They contribute a different academic outlook as well as International business experiences to a New Zealand corporation and enrich a companies’ character. The intern students are dedicated to applying their theoretical knowledge and to gain skills in specific business processes and are not satisfied unless they learn practical things for their studies and their career. They are usually extremely eager to contribute to the projects’ or business’ success.

Another benefit lies within a rather cost effective employment of trainees. During an internship, students are happy to work very hard, as long as their work contributes to their educational purposes. As students are used to work during studies (as part of financial self-support), an internship abroad is not likely to be their first work experience. Students generally pick up new tasks quickly and soon can add value to the business. A further positive outcome is the possibility to select potential employees through internship engagements.

Demand for traineeships abroad is not only an issue for students during studies but also after graduating. According to a recent study, 50% of German tertiary graduates are not in a full-time position one year after graduating. The majority of these graduates do internships to bridge the gap as well as to get more high-quality work experience which they believe will help in finding a highly reputable position. Due to a difficult German employment market, this effect has become an inherent part of postgraduate career entry. There is a clear trend towards one to two traineeships after graduating.

Graduate internships are accomplished in order to set a foot into highly regarded companies for possible employment. Interns may choose to work in New Zealand after graduating from university and are likely to seek employment at companies where they have had positive experience with in the past. A returning intern would not have to be trained in internal procedures from step one when entering the company again. Interns also contribute to New Zealand’s economy when doing business in or with New Zealand after graduating. The economic value and the supplementary effect, which an international internship entails, is immense.

All Internship/Trainee programmes are regulated by government-approved agreements. Internship NZ offers reciprocal “Work Abroad” programmes, which allow many New Zealand students to have internships abroad. When you hire a foreign student you are opening up a similar opportunity for a New Zealander abroad.

How you help New Zealand students

The work visa lasts for up to 12 months and is issued for the exact dates of internship, as per employer’s notification.

Duration of Internship

Would your company benefit from having a skilled, fluent English speaking European, Asian or South American tertiary student working with you for up to one year?

Would filling skill and labour shortages at NO recruitment costs be attractive to your organisation?

Could your business benefit from having well-qualified IT or multi-lingual marketing students employed for several months at reasonable rates?

If YES, please contact Internship NZ.

The only cost to the employer is the intern’s wage. We ask that the interns get paid what workers doing the same job are being paid (we do not want the interns exploited). We advise our interns that the minimum wage in New Zealand is $22.70 per hour, and that in most cases they will be paid more than this. We ask that the interns get between 30 – 40 hours per week (or enough for them to “live” comfortably).

If the intern proves they are reliable and a good worker we would like the intern to be able to work in as many roles as possible to fulfill their internship requirements. We ONLY expect this if they have proved they are of value and this would be of assistance to the employer.


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